Insights from Googlers into our products, technology, and the Google culture
S’more to love across all your screens
September 29, 2015
From your watch to your phone to your TV, we want to help you stay connected, entertained and informed across all your screens. Today we’re introducing a few new things that do just that: two Nexus phones, a tablet for work and play, updates to Chromecast and features for some of your favorite apps—all working together to make your day a little bit easier and more fun.
New Nexus phones
We made Android to be an open platform that anyone can build on, and today there are 4,000+ Android devices in all shapes and sizes. Android’s diversity is why it’s become the most popular mobile platform in the world, and the latest version,
, takes Android to a new level of performance.
While we love all the Android devices out there, every year we build
devices to show off the latest and greatest, directly from the people who built Android. Today we’re introducing the latest Nexus treats, both running Marshmallow, sweetened by amazing apps and sandwiched by some cutting-edge hardware (see what we did there?):
is the first all-metal-body Nexus phone. Built in collaboration with Huawei, this 5.7” phone is crafted from aeronautical-grade aluminum, with a USB Type-C port for fast charging, a powerful 64-bit processor, and a 12.3 MP camera sensor with massive 1.55µm pixels (hello, better photos!). The Nexus 6P starts at $499.
You’re not the only one who misses your Nexus 5. We’ve joined forces with LG to bring it back with the new
, which gives you great performance in a compact and light package, with a beautiful 5.2” screen and the same 12.3 MP camera and Type-C port as the Nexus 6P. Nexus 5X starts at $379.
Both phones include a new fingerprint sensor, Nexus Imprint, which gives you quick and secure access to your phone, as well as use of Android Pay (in the U.S.). They are available for pre-order
on the Google Store
from a number of countries, including the U.S., U.K., Ireland and Japan, and come with a free 90-day subscription to Google Play Music. In the U.S., pre-orders include a $50 Play credit to help you stock up your favorite music, apps, games and shows. And, finally, for you Project Fi fans out there, you'll be happy to know Nexus 6P and Nexus 5X will work on your favorite network. Request an invite to our Early Access Program at
We’re expanding the Pixel family by introducing the
first Android tablet built end-to-end by Google
. The Pixel C brings together the benefits of a full-size keyboard with the portability of a tablet. The tablet and keyboard attach magnetically (no docking mechanism FTW), so it’s easy to switch between typing and using the touch screen.
And if you’re familiar with the
, you’ll immediately see the family resemblance: the Pixel C has the same beautiful aluminum design, great display and USB Type-C port. The Pixel C will be available in time for the holidays on the Google Store.
Cast ALL the things
Today we’re introducing two new Chromecast devices. The new
has a fresh design, and is easier to plug into TVs with crowded ports. It supports the latest Wi-Fi standards and adapts more easily to changing Wi-Fi conditions in your home, so you get higher quality video with less buffering. Most importantly, we added two new colors. ;)
is a small device that plugs into your existing speakers, so you can stream your favorite music, radio and podcasts over Wi-Fi, similar to Chromecast. It works with tons of apps, including Spotify, Pandora and Google Play Music. Just like Chromecast, it works from anywhere in your home with your favorite devices, including Android, iOS, and laptops. And it’s available
on the Google Store
and other online retailers for just $35—way less than most Wi-Fi speakers today.
We’ve also updated the Chromecast app to make it easier for you to find great things to watch or to play, across the thousands of apps that work with Chromecast—whether you feel like browsing or want to search for a specific TV show or movie. For Cast-enabled apps that aren’t already on your phone, we’ll suggest one for you. The updated Chromecast app is rolling out on Android and iOS over the next few weeks.
Your favorite apps... for the whole family
All your shiny devices get even better when you have great apps to go with them. So we’re making a few updates to Google Play Music and Google Photos.
First, Google Play Music will offer a new family plan later this year. Up to six people will be able to use one account for a shared fee of $14.99 a month (instead of $9.99 per person). Get the dance party ready.
Sharing is a theme of today’s Google Photos updates, too. We’re adding Chromecast support to give you that old-school slideshow experience—dimmed lights optional. In the U.S., you can now add private labels to your photos to make it easier to search for specific pics of people with things, places or other people—say, that photo of Mom at the Grand Canyon, or of your daughter with her pet bunny. And soon you’ll be able to pool all your photos and videos with friends and family in one place, and get updates as soon as new photos are added. Best of all, there’s no setup involved, and you can use any device. So that dance party we mentioned earlier? Now it’s easier to gather all the memories from everyone who was there.
More to love, for more people
From Nexus to Chromecast to Pixel C to Photos, these updates are more than the sum of their parts—they unite great apps with devices that are designed to support them. They’re built to work together, so they
—seamlessly, across all your screens.
Posted by Hiroshi Lockheimer, VP Android, Chromecast and Chrome OS at Google
Today we’re introducing a few new things to help you stay connected, entertained and informed across all your screens: two Nexus phones, a tablet for work and play, updates to Chromecast and features for some of your favorite apps.
Big ideas for an even better Bay Area
September 29, 2015
Converting a liquor store into a community-based learning and tutoring center. Providing millions of dollars of 0% interest loans to small businesses. Breaking the poverty- to-prison cycle by building a residential alternative to prison for young adults. This is just a sampling of the big ideas that local nonprofits submitted for our second annual
Google Impact Challenge: Bay Area
Today, after reviewing hundreds of submissions, we’re unveiling 10 finalists chosen together with our panel of
—a group that includes the San Francisco Chronicle’s Editor-in-Chief Audrey Cooper, The Golden State Warriors’ Harrison Barnes, The San Francisco Giants’ Hunter Pence, and CEO of the San Francisco Foundation, Fred Blackwell.
Representing San Francisco, Oakland, San Jose, Santa Clara, San Mateo and more, these organizations span the Bay Area. Learn more about these groups and their ideas for change:
This year, finding and funding new ideas will be just one part of the Google Impact Challenge: Bay Area. We are also reinvesting in a few of our 2014 finalists.
The Ella Baker Center
, and Bay Area Community Resources in collaboration with
Instituto Familiar de la Raza
all were funded last year, and will receive between $250,000 and $1,000,000 in additional funding this year. We’re very pleased to continue supporting organizations focused on homelessness, youth employment, and racial justice—big problems that Google.org works to tackle with local organizations, year-round.
What happens next is in your hands! Anyone can vote for the new projects they think will have the most impact on the Bay Area. Again, the top four will receive $500,000 in grant funding, the remaining six will get $250,000 each. 15 additional organizations will each receive $100,000 and all nonprofits will be connected with Googler volunteers and coworking space in San Francisco. We’ll announce winners on October 21.
To vote, visit
or check out
one of our voting stations across the Bay Area
When creative, socially-conscious minds and the Bay Area’s innovative spirit join forces, big things can happen. Congratulations to all finalists, and best of luck the rest of the way!
Posted by David Drummond, Senior Vice President of Corporate Development, Alphabet
Bring virtual reality field trips to your school with Google Expeditions
September 28, 2015
At the Bronx Latin School in New York City, teacher Katrina Roman says the topic of ancient history doesn’t usually set students abuzz. But this week, they took a field trip to ancient Mayan ruins using Google Expeditions, a virtual reality teaching tool built with Google Cardboard. Normally, their assignment would involve poring over photocopied photographs, but instead, they stood at the top of Chichen Itza, then examined detailed carvings at Tenochtitlan. Amid “oohs” and “aahhs,” the students shouted out details they noticed and shot hands up to answer Ms. Roman’s questions.
Katrina Roman’s class at the
Bronx Latin School
fills out their assignment after visiting Aztec ruins with Expeditions. The class is part of a history and geography pilot with
New Visions for Public Schools
Starting today, we’re bringing this experience to thousands of schools around the world with the new
Expeditions Pioneer Program
. During the 2015/2016 school year, we’ll be bringing “kits” containing everything a teacher needs to run a virtual trip for their class:
, a tablet for the teacher to direct the tour, a router that allows Expeditions to run without an Internet connection, and Google
that turn phones into virtual reality headsets. Although nothing replaces hopping on the bus for a field trip, there are some places that are just out of reach (hello, Chichen Itza!). Virtual reality gives teachers a tool to take students places a school bus can't.
To help teachers learn how to use Expeditions, we’ll be visiting thousands of schools around the world and bringing the kit for teachers to use in their classes for the day. Up first: Australia, Brazil, New Zealand, the U.K. and the U.S., followed by more locations as the school year progresses. At each school, our team will show teachers
how Expeditions works
and help set it up before class.
Right now, teachers can choose from a library of 100+ virtual trips to places like Mars, the Great Barrier Reef and the Great Wall of China. But we’re constantly adding more trips with the help of partners like
, educational publisher Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, British documentarian David Attenborough in collaboration with Alchemy VR, and the
Wildlife Conservation Society
. We’re also working with
the Starfish Foundation
to help students explore future careers by showing them a virtual day in the life of professionals including a veterinarian and computer scientist. And to help students achieve those career goals, we’re working with First Lady Michelle Obama to support her
initiative by taking students on virtual college tours.
And if you see one of these cars on the road, that's us! The folks at Subaru, who invest in education as part of their
initiative, have created a fleet of Expedition Pioneer Program rides that we'll be using to bring kits to schools.
If visiting Mars, trekking on the Great Wall of China or exploring what it’s like to work at a veterinarian’s office sounds like something your class would be interested in, head to the
Expeditions Pioneer Program site
and sign up.
Posted by David Quaid, Software Engineer, Google Expeditions
Bringing the Internet to more Indians—starting with 10 million rail passengers a day
September 27, 2015
When I was a student, I relished the
day-long railway journey
I would make from Chennai Central station (then known as Madras Central) to
. I vividly remember the frenetic energy at the various stations along the way and marveled at the incredible scale and scope of
Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the Googleplex today
I’m very proud to announce that it’s the train stations of India that are going to help get millions of people online. In the past year, 100 million people in India started using the Internet for the first time. This means there are now more Internet users in India than in every country in the world aside from China. But what's really astounding is the fact that there are still nearly one billion people in India who aren’t online.
We’d like to help get these next billion Indians online—so they can access the entire web, and all of its information and opportunity. And not just with any old connection—with fast broadband so they can experience the best of the web. That’s why, today, on the occasion of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to our U.S. headquarters, and in line with his Digital India initiative, we announced a new project to provide high-speed public Wi-Fi in 400 train stations across India.
, which operates one of the world's largest railway networks, and
, which provides Internet services as RailWire via its extensive fiber network along many of these railway lines, our Access & Energy team plans to bring the first stations online in the coming months. The network will expand quickly to cover 100 of the busiest stations in India before the end of 2016, with the remaining stations following in quick succession.
Even with just the first 100 stations online, this project will make Wi-Fi available for the more than 10 million people who pass through every day. This will rank it as the largest public Wi-Fi project in India, and among the largest in the world, by number of potential users. It will also be fast—many times faster than what most people in India have access to today, allowing travelers to stream a high definition video while they’re waiting, research their destination, or download some videos, a book or a new game for the journey ahead. Best of all, the service will be free to start, with the long-term goal of making it self-sustainable to allow for expansion to more stations and other places, with RailTel and more partners, in the future.
This map shows the first 100 stations that will have high-speed Wi-Fi by the end of 2016
We think this is an important part of making the Internet both accessible and useful for the more than 300 million Indians already online, and the nearly one billion more who are not.
But it’s not the only piece. To help more Indians get access to affordable, high-quality smartphones, which is the primary way most people there access the Internet, we
launched Android One last year
. To help address the challenges of limited bandwidth, we recently
a feature that makes mobile webpages load faster and with less data, and we’ve made
YouTube available offline
offline Maps coming soon
To help make web content more useful for Indians, many of whom don’t speak English, we launched the Indian Language Internet Alliance last year to foster more local language content, and have built greater local language support into our products—including Hindi Voice Search, an improved Hindi keyboard and support for seven Indian languages with the latest versions of Android. And finally, to help all Indians reap the benefits of connectivity, we’ve been ramping up
efforts to help women
, who make up
just a third
of Internet users in India today, get the most from the web.
Just like I did years ago, thousands of young Indians walk through Chennai Central every day, eager to learn, to explore and to seek opportunity. It’s my hope that this Wi-Fi project will make all these things a little easier.
Posted by Sundar Pichai, CEO, Google
Through the Google lens: Search Trends Sept 18–24
September 25, 2015
Even if you weren’t trying to keep up with all your fall shows returning, this week was a busy one. Here’s a look at what captured our attention the past seven days—from the Pope to a little rat with a big dream.
Also, we’re changing up this series, so this will be our last regular Friday post for a while. We’ll be back soon in a different format. Until then, keep on searchin’ on.
Pizza rat is all of us
Let’s start with the important stuff. This week the Internet was captivated by a
showing a rat carrying a slice of pizza down the stairs of a New York subway station. There were more than
50K+ searches for “Pizza Rat”
on Monday, and the 14 second-video has more than 6 million views at last count. But while
multiplied across the web, New Yorkers had some more unsettling questions in mind, like: “How many rats are in New York?” and “What is the rat to people ratio in New York?” (Are you sure you want to know?) Whether Pizza Rat is a
, something about him spoke to us. Because in a way, aren’t we all just rats trying to find a slice of pizza in the subway station of life?
This week Pope Francis became the
fourth pope to visit the United States
, in a highly anticipated tour that took him from
D.C. to New York, with a Philadelphia stop
still to come. Every day of his visit has brought headlines and curious searches (
more than 500K on Tuesday
)—and he’s been busy. He met with President Obama (
and the President’s dogs
) at the White House, stopped by the Capitol to give a
joint address to Congress
(the first time a pontiff has ever done so),
canonized Junipero Serra
, visited the 9/11 Memorial, spoke at the United Nations and made statements on everything ranging from climate change to the refugee crisis.
Meanwhile, people have been asking all
about the Pope and his visit. Perhaps the most interesting—and inspiring—searches about the Pope’s visit are those looking for information on what he has said. Notably, people wanted to learn more about Thomas Merton and Dorothy Day, whom the Pope described in his joint address to Congress as Americans who had “built a better future” through “hard work and self-sacrifice” (the other two Americans he mentioned? Lincoln and Martin Luther King, Jr.). In fact, searches for Dorothy Day, the founder of the Catholic Worker Movement and an advocate for social justice,
after the Pope discussed her in his speech.
It ain’t over ‘til it’s over
This week baseball fans and others said farewell to Yankees catcher
, who died at age 90. A Hall of Famer who appeared in 21 World Series as a player, coach and manager, Yogi was perhaps best known for his nonsensical, sometimes
statements (some of which it’s disputed he actually made, but all of which you’ve probably said without even knowing their origin), and as the namesake for the
. As news spread of his death, people searched for him more than 1M times,
“What number was Yogi Berra?” and “How did Yogi Berra get the name Yogi?” (
It’s a good story
Posted by Emily Wood, Managing Editor, who searched this week for [pontifex] and [postpositive adjective]
Supporting our young scientists through the Google Science Fair
September 21, 2015
Mariette DiChristina is the Editor in Chief and senior vice president of
—the first woman to hold the role in the magazine's 170-year history. She has been a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science since 2011 and served as president of the National Association of Science Writers in 2009 and 2010. She joins us here today to share her perspective on the Google Science Fair, which is in its fifth edition this year.
This marks my fifth year with the
Google Science Fair
. In October 2010, when I had my first conversations with my friends at Google about their idea to create a global online science fair that any kid 13–18 could participate in, I thought it sounded pretty cool. But I couldn’t then imagine just how inspiring and powerful such a competition would turn out to be in reality.
At the time, I hadn’t even been editor in chief of
for a year, but I had real ambitions to try to do something to make a difference in educating our young people about science. You see, I believe that science is the engine of human prosperity—it’s the way we grapple with some of the world’s most challenging problems, from cures for diseases to living sustainably in a finite world. So I’ve always seen the idea of fostering evidence-based thinking in our next generation of global citizens as vital.
Now, five years later and working with partners LEGO Education,
and Virgin Galactic, the Google Science Fair has an impressive track record of enabling our world’s young scientists to shine. Over the years, they’ve tackled serious issues, like world hunger and the energy crisis. Their projects have worked on how to diagnose and treat diseases like cancer and Alzheimer’s. They’ve engineered flashlights powered by their hands and plastics made of banana peels. And to date, the fair has provided almost $1 million in scholarships, and sent four grand prize winners on trips around the world to further their scientific passions.
Tonight we added some new winners to that list as we recognized and celebrated the 2015 top 20 finalist projects and the bright young scientists behind them:
The Grand Prize went to
for creating a novel way to detect Ebola.
won the Google Technologist Award for helping improve learning through auto-generated study questions.
Explorer Award went to
for her idea to use solar-powered silver to create clean drinking water.
’s project focused on improved diagnosis and treatment of Alzheimer’s Disease and won him the
's automated search for gravitationally lensed quasars earned him the Virgin Galactic Pioneer Award.
took home The LEGO Education Builder Award for his unique twist on effectively transporting vaccines.
If you didn’t get to tune in, you can still
watch the Awards Show live stream
and check out the
complete list of impressive finalists and winners
, including our first ever Inspiring Educator,
from Bosnia and Herzegovina.
In all of these finalists and the thousands of submissions from students in 100+ countries, we see something common. These students are inventive, thoughtful, and determined to help make the world a better place. All they need is a chance and a platform to do so. And, unlike some of us adults, they are ready to try things that other people think are “impossible.” I find them inspiring.
It’s imperative for us to support and encourage our young people to explore and challenge the world around them through scientific discovery. So we’re especially glad that Ahmed Mohamed—the 14-year-old clock maker from Texas—took us up on
to attend this year’s event. Curious young scientists, inventors and builders like him should be encouraged and empowered.
The past decades have brought tremendous innovations and challenges, and none of us knows what the future of scientific discovery holds. But I can tell you one thing: it’s going to be better thanks to these kids. They will be part of building a brighter future for us all—and as they do, those of us at Scientific American, Google, LEGO Education, National Geographic and Virgin Galactic will be cheering them on.
start thinking of your ideas for next year
! We can’t wait to see what you’ll try next.
Posted by Mariette DiChristina, Editor in Chief of Scientific American and Chief Judge of the Google Science Fair
Through the Google lens: Search Trends Sept 11–17
September 18, 2015
Another week flown by—sometimes the pace is enough to make you need a
. Here’s a look at the past seven days as seen through Google Search:
A 14-year-old teenager named
found himself in the spotlight this week, with searches for his name soaring above 500K. Mohamed, who lives in Texas and is Muslim, was arrested on Monday after he brought a clock that he’d made himself to school and it was mistaken for a bomb. In the days that followed, thousands of people expressed their support for Mohamed online with the hashtag #IStandwithAhmed, and he received invitations to visit the White House, MIT, Facebook—and yes, even Google. As more and more people heard about the story, they turned to search with questions like “What did Ahmed’s clock look like?” and “What was Obama’s response to Ahmed’s clock?”
California has been battling brutal wildfires this year, as the drought has dried up fields and forests across the state. Last week’s
threatened thousands of acres and burned hundreds of homes, and it seemed like as soon as it was contained the Valley Fire in Lake County was blazing. Searchers turned to the web with questions like “How does a wildfire create its own weather?” and “Why are the wildfires getting worse?” But while firefighters worked around the clock up north to stop the inferno, southern California was breaking records for rainfall. Really. Tuesday was the
in L.A. in September since 1877, with 50,000+ searches for [
weather Los Angeles
] as astonished Angelenos looked to learn more about this unfamiliar wet stuff falling from the sky.
Mother Nature wasn’t through with her surprises, though. Wednesday, an 8.3 magnitude earthquake struck off the coast of Chile, forcing 1 million people to evacuate—and causing 2 million searches for [
]. Tsunami warnings were in effect as far away as California, Japan and New Zealand. Despite some casualties and billions of dollars’ worth of damages,
that Chile’s investments in structural reinforcements and other earthquake preparedness prevented the disaster from being much worse.
The Republican presidential debate was the subject of
more than 5 million searches
this week as people looked for more about the candidates and issues. While Donald Trump was the most searched candidate both
and in nearly every state, he had
from former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina. Fiorina drew attention for her performance in the debate, in particular her
opposition to Planned Parenthood
(the subject of
more than 200K searches
this week) and her
to comments Trump had made about her in the press. Taking Trump to task for past comments was a theme on Wednesday; in fact, the
top searched moment
of the night was when
asked Trump for an apology to his wife.
Posted by Emily Wood, Managing Editor, who searched this week for [drywall anchors] and [pine state biscuits]
Matching your donation to humanitarian relief for refugees and migrants
September 15, 2015
My name is Rita Masoud and I am a refugee. I was born in war-torn Kabul, Afghanistan. When I was seven, my family and I fled to Europe with our belongings in a single suitcase, hoping for a safer and better future. Our journey involved many dark train and bus rides, as well as hunger, thirst, cold and fear. Fortunately, we received asylum in The Netherlands, where I grew up in a safe environment and was able to find my way in life. Today, I work for Google in California.
I was lucky. But as the refugee and migrant crisis has grown, many people like my family are desperate for help. Last week, Google announced a €1 million (~$1.1 million) donation to organizations who are providing front-line humanitarian relief to refugees and migrants around the world. Today, we're inviting you to
. To double the impact of your contribution, we’ll match the first €5 million (~$5.5 million) in donations globally, until together we raise €10 million (~$11 million) for relief efforts.
Your donation will be distributed to four nonprofits providing aid to refugees and migrants:
Doctors Without Borders
International Rescue Committee
Save the Children
UN High Commissioner for Refugees
. These nonprofits are helping deliver essential assistance—including shelter, food and water, and medical care—and looking after the security and rights of people in need.
to make your donation. Thank you for giving.
En route from Afghanistan, with my family and some belongings. You can read more about my journey
on my blog
Update September 18:
In just two and a half days, you've helped us reach our goal to raise €10 million (~$11 million). Thank you for your contributions to help refugees and migrants in need.
Posted by Rita Masoud, Product Marketing Manager, Google.org
Walk alongside the elephants of the Samburu National Reserve in Street View
September 15, 2015
Today for the first time, we’re releasing
Street View imagery of Kenya
—including the Samburu National Reserve, Lewa Wildlife Conservancy and the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust—in partnership with
Save the Elephants
and with the support of the
Samburu County Government
. We'll let Save the Elephants' David Daballen take it from here
It’s a wild life at the
Save the Elephants research camp
in Samburu, in the heart of northern Kenya’s wilderness. For the last 15 years at Save the Elephants, I’ve spent my days among the elephants, working alongside my fellow Samburu people to study and protect them. Research shows that 100,000 elephants across Africa were killed for their ivory between 2010-2012, but thanks to our work in the
Samburu National Reserve
their numbers are now slowly increasing. Today, a visit to Samburu is a chance not only to see these magnificent creatures in their natural habitat, but also discover a uniquely beautiful landscape where people’s lives are interwoven with the landscape’s wildlife. It’s my honour to invite you on a journey to my homeland with
Street View in Google Maps
Every time I drive into the Reserve, I can see the trust on the elephants’ faces and feel a warm welcome. When I’m out and about, I never know which of my fellow citizens I’ll bump into next. It could be some of the
I can recognize—like
the Hardwood family
a group of Samburu warriors
walking along the Ewaso Nyiro River,
a pride of lions
enjoying a bit of shade, or
crossing the path. While you make your journey through Street View, you may be surprised what awaits.
Hardwood family of elephants, Samburu National Reserve, Kenya
South of Samburu, up into the hills of Kenya, the
Lewa Wildlife Conservancy
awaits exploration. In this greener landscape, you can cross the open savannah, where animals like zebras and rhinoceroses live protected from poachers and hunters. Every day, the
Lewa radio command center
plots the movements of elephants (and other GPS-collared wildlife) onto Google Earth to help rangers determine where elephants are and when they might be in danger. If an elephant’s GPS collar sends an alert to indicate the elephant has stopped moving, a team of rangers and tracking dogs will investigate. Save the Elephants was one of the first organizations to use this technology, having collared 266 elephants across Africa since 1998.
Elephants and zebras graze in the open plains of the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy
David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust
, you can see the devastating effect of poaching and other causes of elephant deaths in Kenya. Founded in 1977, the Trust provides lifesaving assistance to wild animals in need, including orphaned elephants and rhinos. At their Elephant Orphanage in Nairobi, elephant caretakers stand in for an elephant’s lost family, providing 24/7 care and specially formulated milk. As the orphans grow, they are gradually reintegrated back into the wild, where they are protected by the charity’s Anti-Poaching and Aerial Surveillance Teams. To date, the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust has hand-raised more than 180 orphaned infant elephants, including little
, who I helped to rescue in Samburu after his mother died of natural causes when he was six months old. He’s just one elephant amid thousands that have been lost across the continent, but when you're up against a challenge of this scale, every elephant counts.
Orphaned elephants play in the mud at the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust in Nairobi, Kenya
I hope this glimpse into life in Samburu has inspired you to learn more about elephants’ plight and how you can help. Samburu is my home and is full of life. To ensure it remains that way, please consider supporting the research of
Save the Elephants
, making a donation to the anti-poaching efforts of
Lewa Wildlife Conservancy
, or fostering an orphaned elephant at the
David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust
. After exploring in Street View, come and see us here in Kenya in person—we’d love to have you!
Posted by David Daballen, Head of Field Operations at Save the Elephants
maps and earth
Through the Google lens: Search Trends Sept 4–11
September 11, 2015
Alongside star athletes, royals and vice presidents, an unpronounceable village in Wales had its moment in the search spotlight this week. Read on for seven days of search trends.
Stephen Colbert took to the air as the new host of CBS’ The Late Show Tuesday, with an impressive
6.6 million viewers
half a million Google searches
for the premiere, and a
every night since. The week’s star-studded line-up included actors George Clooney and Scarlett Johanssen, but by Friday morning it was guest Vice President Joe Biden who was
driving the search buzz
for the frank and emotional conversation he had with Colbert about the family tragedies both have suffered. The interview wasn’t all serious—the VP joked about the host’s
2008 run for the presidency
, and proposed joining forces for 2016. A Colbert-Biden ticket would be tough to beat (in searches, at least).
Venus vs. Serena (vs. Roberta)
Game on. As Venus and Serena Williams faced each other this week in the quarterfinals of the U.S. Open, the sisters generated a combined
one+ million searches
from people following the action online. Serena ultimately beat out older sister Venus both on the court and on Google—
topping Venus Tuesday
in search volume. Heading into the weekend, all eyes continued to be on Serena and her bid for the first tennis Grand Slam win since Steffi Graf’s in 1988. But it wasn’t to be. As Serena suffered a shocking semifinal upset by Roberta Vinci of Italy this afternoon, people from Jamaica to Romania to Zimbabwe
followed the action
Queen Elizabeth II
became Britain’s longest-reigning monarch, surpassing the record set by great-great-grandmum Queen Victoria. (According to the
, this happened at 23,226 days, 16 hours and approximately 30 minutes … but who’s counting?) This milestone was popular across the pond—the U.S. was the top country outside the Commonwealth searching for information about Her Royal Highness. But her loyal subjects in the U.K. also had questions. Besides some basics like the Queen’s age and her cash flow, one question Brits
repeatedly searched on Google
this week was: Why does the Queen celebrate two birthdays? The lengthy
on the royal website references the weather, King Edward VII, and horses. An alternative answer? Because she can.
It’s Welsh, and it starts with an L (two, actually)
At 58 letters, the Welsh village of Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch has the longest and most notoriously difficult-to-say place name in the United Kingdom. And after Welsh weatherman Liam Dutton nailed its pronunciation live on air Wednesday (and subsequently on YouTube), people around the world turned to Google with a collective “Whoa!” Along with wanting to know if this is a real place (yes, indeed), and how it got its name (unconfirmed, but one YouTube commenter suggests it was named by a cat taking a walk on a keyboard), the top search on Google was, of course, how to pronounce it. With 7 million views and counting, here’s
weatherman Dutton with the answer
Posted by Abbi Tatton, who searched this week for [the war of 1812]
What makes us Human?
September 11, 2015
Over the past three years, filmmaker and artist Yann Arthus-Bertrand travelled to 60 countries, interviewing more than 2,000 people in dozens of languages, in an attempt to answer the question: What is it that makes us human? The result is
, a documentary film that weaves together a rich collection of stories from freedom fighters in Ukraine, farmers in Mali, death row inmates in the United States, and more—on topics that unite us all: love, justice, family, and the future of our planet.
Now we’re partnering with Arthus-Bertrand, the Goodplanet Foundation and Bettencourt Schueller Foundation, to bring HUMAN to you on Google Play, YouTube and the Google Cultural Institute so we can share this project with the widest audience throughout the world.
Watch an extended version of the film on YouTube and Google Play
We’re making HUMAN available on YouTube starting September 12, and later on Google Play. This “director’s cut”of three 90-minute films will be available in Arabic, English, French, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish. On YouTube, you can also watch extra footage including interviews with figures like United Nations Secretary General Ban-Ki Moon, animal rights activist Jane Goodall and actress Cameron Diaz, all of whom participated in the film.
Explore HUMAN with the Google Cultural Institute
Over at the
Google Cultural Institute
, you can learn about the origin of the film and listen to anecdotes from the people who brought it to life. You can also meet the characters in and around the movie in their daily lives, with six exhibits of behind the scenes photos and videos that let you explore how HUMAN was made over three years. This includes a collection highlighting how the director shot the aerial views that are a signature of Arthus-Bertrand’s filmmaking.
Exhibitions on Google the Cultural Institute platform
Learn more about this project at
or on the
HUMAN Behind The Scenes mobile app
, available on Google Play. With HUMAN, we want to help citizens around the world connect together. So we’d like to hear your answer to the question of what makes us human. Add your voice to the conversation with #WhatMakesUsHUMAN.
Posted by Raphael Goumain, Head of Consumer Marketing, France
Dressed in code
September 8, 2015
Increasingly, the worlds of fashion and technology are becoming intertwined—from wristbands that track your heart rate to responsive fabrics that adjust to your temperature. And just like you can sew together different pieces of fabric to make a dress, or choose different items from your closet to create an unexpected outfit, you can also put together code to make something that’s never existed before.
Today, as New York’s Fashion Week kicks off, fashion and technology are coming together in a new way.
Made with Code
ZAC Zac Posen
are teaming up to show how computer science can push the boundaries of what’s possible in the world of fashion. A dress designed by Zac Posen and with designs coded online by teen girls will debut as the finale look of Zac’s show—and hopefully inspire young girls who have an interest in fashion to see what code can help them create.
Made with Code started with the mission of inspiring girls to try coding and to see it as a means to pursue their dream careers—regardless of what field those careers are in. For this project, girls from organizations like Black Girls Code, the Flatiron School, Girls Who Code and Lower East Side Girls Club, coded designs for an LED dress using an introductory coding project online. Fashion engineer and Made with Code mentor,
, coded and fabricated the LED technology of the dress, working alongside Zac as he designed. When the dress goes down the runway, it will displays girls’ patterns in 500 LED lights, using a
specially tuned to match Zac’s Spring Summer 2016 runway collection—from Catalina Blue to Acid Yellow. Meanwhile, 50 girls will get seats at the show to see their designs light up the runway.
In the past year, we’ve seen many encouraging signs that more girls are exploring computer science. More than 5 million coding projects have been tried since Made with Code began a year ago. And Googlers, teen girls and partners like Girls Inc, Technovation and Girl Scouts have thrown 300+ Made with Code
across the U.S., reaching tens of thousands teen girls in person. But with less than one percent of high school girls still expressing interest in computer science, it’s obvious we have so much more work to do—so, let’s start now. After today, girls all over the country can also head to
to create their own design. We hope the digital dress inspires more teens to discover what they can make with code.
Posted by Pavni Diwanji, VP of engineering for Kids and Families
Through the Google lens: Search Trends August 28–September 3
September 4, 2015
With the long Labor Day weekend beckoning, we’ll spare you the introduction and dive right into the past week of search trends.
Party at the VMAs
It’s been nearly a week since it all went down, but given the number of trending topics related to the Sunday evening spectacle known as the 2015 MTV Video Music Awards, we feel almost obligated to recap how it played out on Search. So, here are the highlights: bizarre but wonderful host Miley Cyrus pulled in a cool
5 million searches
, while her
with Nicki Minaj (which may or may not have been planned) got another
. Kanye West accepted the show’s highest honor—
the Michael Jackson Vanguard Award
—in a rambling 13-minute speech (during which he may or may not have committed to running for president in 2020), racking up more than
Justin Bieber cried while
his new single, “What Do You Mean,” inspiring 500,000+ searches for the performance and another 500,000+ for the song; and finally, Taylor Swift—no stranger
to VMA drama
featuring Kanye West and acceptance speeches, as well as
public spats with Nicki Minaj
—premiered her video for “Wildest Dreams,” (
wanted to know more). For more trends from the show (and to find out which of these artists claimed the “Most Searched” title), check out the
Kentucky courthouse drama
A Kentucky county clerk found new notoriety this week, appearing in Hot Trends not just
. Kim Davis has repeatedly refused to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, claiming it would infringe on her religious beliefs. Multiple couples sued her, and Judge David L. Bunning ordered her to issue the licenses. Finally, after her request for a stay from the Supreme Court was
, yesterday Davis was held in contempt of court. With Davis in jail, her deputies
began issuing licenses
to couples today. As the saga played out in Rowan County, people turned to the web with
ranging from “What religion is Kim Davis?” and “What law did Kim Davis break?” to
more broad questions
like “Why do we need marriage licenses?” and “How long have there been marriage licenses in the U.S.?”
The days are getting shorter (in the Northern Hemisphere, at least) and the long Labor Day weekend marks the unofficial end of summer. In the U.S., people have turned to the web to learn more about the origins of Labor Day and to ask an important fashion question: “Why can’t you wear white after Labor Day?” Our advice:
don’t let anyone tell you you can’t
Autumn may make some melancholy, but for football fans it’s a time to rejoice. Tomorrow marks the first college football Saturday of the season, and searchers are gearing up in anticipation. Yesterday’s Michigan game against Utah drew
as people looked to find more about the game. As the debut game for new Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh, expectations were high, but deflated (see below) when Utah won 24-17. But it’s Michigan rival—and defending national champs—Ohio State that lit up the scoreboard as the most searched team over the past month:
Finally, though the NFL season doesn’t officially start until next Thursday, the league is in the news after Patriots QB Tom Brady’s four-game suspension for “Deflategate” was overturned. Brady was the
top trend Thursday
, with 1 million searches, as people asked
like “Is Tom Brady suspended?” and “What does ‘nullified’ mean?”
Posted by Emily Wood, who searched this week for [elena ferrante vanity fair]
Google Docs and Classroom: your school year sidekicks
September 2, 2015
School’s in! As you settle into your classes and start to juggle soccer practice, club meetings and homework, we’re here to help. We’ve been spending the summer “break” creating new tools to help you save time, collaborate with classmates and create your best work—all for free.
Schoolwork, minus the work
Writing papers is now a lot easier with the
Docs for Android
. You can search Google without leaving Docs, and once you find the quotes, facts or images you’re looking for, you can add them to your document with just a couple taps. That means less time switching between apps, and more time perfecting your thesis statement.
, you can record ideas or even compose an entire essay without touching your keyboard. To get started, activate Voice typing in the Tools menu when you're using
in Chrome. Then, when you’re on the go, just tap the microphone button on your phone’s keyboard and speak your mind. Voice typing is available in more than 40 languages, so we can help with your French homework, too. Voilà!
Do more, together
We’ve made it easier for you to tell what was added or deleted in
—and who made the changes. Now when you’ve left a document and you come back to it later, you can just click “
See new changes
” to pick up right where your classmates left off.
Forms helps you get a lot of information easily and in one place—so when you want to vote on your class field trip or collect T-shirt sizes for your team, you don’t have to sort through dozens of emails. With the new
, you can survey with style—choose one of the colorful new themes or customize your form with your own photo or logo, and we’ll choose the right color palette to match. Easily insert images, GIFs or videos and pick from a
selection of question formats
. Then send out your survey and watch as the responses roll in!
Your best work, your best you
Creating presentations, crafting newsletters and managing your team’s budget is hard enough without having to worry about making everything look good. With the new collection of
templates in Docs
, you can focus on your content while we make sure it gets the expert polish it deserves. Choose from a wide variety of reports, portfolios, resumes and other pre-made
designed to make your work that much better, and your life that much easier.
Explore in Sheets
, you can now spend less time trying to decipher your data, and more time making a point.
creates charts and insights automatically, so you can visualize trends and understand your data in seconds on the web or on your
. It’s like having an expert analyst right by your side.
Mission control, for teachers and students
A year ago, we launched
to save teachers and students time and make it easier to keep classwork organized. Today we’re launching a
Share to Classroom Chrome extension
to make it easy for teachers to share a website with the entire class at the same time—no matter what kind of laptop students have. Now the whole class can head to a web page together, without losing precious minutes and focus to typos.
Rock this school year with Google Docs and Classroom. Your first assignment? Try these new features, which are rolling out today.
Posted by Ritcha Ranjan, Product Manager
Google’s look, evolved
September 1, 2015
Google has changed a lot over the past 17 years—from the range of our products to the evolution of their look and feel. And today we’re changing things up once again:
So why are we doing this now? Once upon a time, Google was one destination that you reached from one device: a desktop PC. These days, people interact with Google products across many different platforms, apps and devices—sometimes all in a single day. You expect Google to help you whenever and wherever you need it, whether it’s on your mobile phone, TV, watch, the dashboard in your car, and yes, even a desktop!
Today we’re introducing a new logo and identity family that reflects this reality and shows you when the Google magic is working for you, even on the tiniest screens. As you’ll see, we’ve taken the Google logo and branding, which were originally built for a single desktop browser page, and updated them for a world of seamless computing across an endless number of devices and different kinds of inputs (such as tap, type and talk).
It doesn’t simply tell you that you’re using Google, but also shows you how Google is working for you. For example, new elements like a colorful Google mic help you identify and interact with Google whether you’re talking, tapping or typing. Meanwhile, we’re bidding adieu to the little blue “g” icon and replacing it with a four-color “G” that matches the logo.
This isn’t the first time we’ve changed our look and it probably won’t be the last, but we think today’s update is a great reflection of all the ways Google works for you across Search, Maps, Gmail, Chrome and many others. We think we’ve taken the best of Google (simple, uncluttered, colorful, friendly), and recast it not just for the Google of today, but for the Google of the future.
You’ll see the new design roll out across our products soon. Hope you enjoy it!
Posted by Tamar Yehoshua, VP, Product Management & Bobby Nath, Director of User Experience
Google has changed a lot over the past 17 years—from the range of our products to the evolution of their look and feel. And today we’re changing things up once again.
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